The Archer Mice of Middle-earth

by Varda

The Seige of Mouse Tirith

Over the bridges across the Granduin Canal they poured; swarming through the narrow streets of Dublin 4, the Dome of the Stars. Cats; great parti-coloured moggies and fat tabbies with sleek striped coats. From the Southside came Burmese and Siamese, their blue eyes glowing in the Dublin dusk. From the Northside, too, Great British Shorthairs, their whiskers bristling, for word had gone out from Saurkat; the White Tower of Mouse Tirith was ripe for the taking!

Before the feline flood fled every mouse and dormouse and halfmouse and Elfmouse and fieldmouse of Dublin Four….into Mouse Tirith, also known as Boland’s Bakery in happier times before rock-hard buns went out of fashion and sushi bars and latté counters took over. Cake crumbs aplenty and not a trap in sight. But on the horizon massed the armies of Saurkat, led by Gothmoggie….

This giant Siamese was, it was whispered, once a Nazkat but now Saurkat’s greatest leader. He prowled to the front of his troops, his blue eyes gleaming and his boots shining. for Gothmoggie did not like to get his paws wet so he wore rubber boots. Which gave him his nickname; Puss In Boots.

Now Gothmoggie paced backwards and forwards before his troops, swishing his black-tipped tail. His jewelled collar sparkled. He looked up at the hundreds of pink ears peeping over Bolands Mill roof, twitching nervously, and he grinned.
‘I can smell rodent fear…’ he purred.
‘Let us easy their pain….CAT apults!’

At Gothmoggie’s command, small, feline-designed catapults were rolled up and drawn back. With a twang and a thwang they unloaded their cargo and it hurtled towards the doomed citadel….

In the roof-spaces and gulleys of Mouse Tirith the defenders rushed here and there, seeking to protect themselves from the deadly hail of….furballs.
‘Yech!’ cried the Captain of the Mouse Guard. ‘How disgusting!’

‘I thought they would like that…’ said Gothmoggie, sitting down and beginning to wash his face with his paw….

Up the many levels of Mouse Tirith, to the central space on the roof, where a White Tree, sad and dying, stood in an ever-running fountain of sparkling water, hurried Wizardmouse, accompanied by Pipsqueak. Their mission, to rouse the Lord of Mouse Tirith, Denemouse, to action to defend Middle Mouse.

‘Look!’ cried Pipsqueak in his tiny voice. Wizardmouse turned.
‘A dead tree…what is it doing on the roof of a bakery?’
‘I’m an expert on arboriculture now, am I?’ snapped the wizard rodent.
‘No, but I thought…as you are always telling us what to do, that you know what to do…’
‘Oh shut up, Pipsqueak’ said Wizardmouse ‘It’s probably got vine weevils or something….’

Wizardmouse ascended the steps to the Stewardmouse’s Great Hall, which was also the biscuit factory in the old bakery. The whiff of ginger nut wafted out of the peeling doors as they approached. Then Wizardmouse stopped. He turned to Pipsqueak and said;
‘Now, Pip, Denemouse is the Stewardmouse of Gondorodent, Boromouse’s father. Don’t tell him Boromouse is dead…’
‘Right’ said Pipsqueak
‘And don’t tell him he isn’t dead’
‘’ said Pip.
‘The fact is, we don’t know. But don’t tell him that either’
‘And don’t mention Aramouse…’
‘No, I won’t’ replied Pip.
‘Or Frodent….’
‘Or the Ring…’
‘Definitely not’
‘Or the election..’
‘Or the results of the match..’
‘What match..?’
‘Or the latest Dow Jones…’
‘Look, Wizardmouse…’
‘What CAN I talk about?’
‘Well, actually it might be better if you didn’t say anything, Pip…’
‘Why didn’t you say that at the start….?’

At last the two mice were ushered into a vast hall, lined with disused biscuit ovens. Mice-at-arms in black livery stood along the walls, holding cocktail sticks tipped with steel. At the end of the hall was a high throne, and at its foot, a simple stool, made from a wooden sewing bobbin. On this, clad in rich velvet, was an elderly, grey-whiskered mouse. He looked up as Wizardmouse and Pipsqueak approached.

‘Hail, Denemouse son of Ecmouselion, Lord of Gondorodent!’ cried Wizardmouse. The old mouse looked up, a sly gleam in his eye.
‘Wizardmouse, stormrodent!’ he hissed.
‘In ill time you come…’
‘I have come with tidings, and with council in this dark hour….’
‘Have you come to explain this….’

And to Pipsqueak’s astonishment and dismay the old mouse held out in both paws the broken pieces of a mobile phone.
‘Boromouse’s Nokia!’ thought Pipsqueak. Wizardmouse looked stunned.
‘We’ve analysed the last text message sent’ said Denemouse onimousely.
‘It reads; Dear Dad, if you find this bunch that did for me, send them all for a swim in wet cement….’

‘Oh dear’ thought Pipsqueak.